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A vacation to remember: climbing El Misti

el-mistiI have hiked on mountains and hills, climbed the walls of abandoned citadels and always wanted to tempt fate and embark on a journey of a lifetime: climbing one of the famous volcanoes in the world.

Peru is not only famous for being home to the interesting Nazca lines and colorful festivals; it’s also the place where El Misti can be found. El Misti is a volcano, located just outside Arequipa. It last erupted in 1870 and it hasn’t been showing signs of wanting to mess with the travelers’ plans soon.

For those used to hiking, the climb is not a big problem. However, you need to consider the altitude. Arequipa is located 2400 meters above sea level and spending several days here surely helps with getting used to the air. The climbing trip takes two days (and one night). Although the volcano can be climbed as part of a day trip, you need to start very early and be used to the high altitude. So, it’s better to choose the longer trip and spend a night at 4800 meters. There’s nothing like a dinner on top of the world.

The volcano can be climbed year-round but from January to March it can be either rainy or snowy so the trips might get canceled.

Arequipa is served by an airport but if you fly from abroad it’s better to look for cheap flights to Lima . From here, you can take the express bus to Arequipa (they are quite expensive, but they are cheaper than flights and safer than regular buses).

Once the transportation solved, look for cheap hotels in Peru . Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru so it’s easy to find places to stay. Average nightly rates start at US$40-50 but do make sure you read the reviews and choose a safe place to stay.

Exploring El Misti is not the only interesting thing to do while in Arequipa. The historical center is well worth your time and the ancient districts of Yanahuara and Cayma can be quite an interesting experience as well. The city also has beautiful bridges to check out.

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